Thursday, January 26, 2017

Update 2017

2016 was a good year in some respects. I still have only a limited number of projects I wish to focus my hobby time on. These will be mentioned and updated upon later here later. With a new home that has a large rumpus room and the chance to reorganize that space a little better I was feeling quite accomplished.

The biggest goal this year was the decision to move my main project of Empire Napoleonics from 6mm to 15mm. Being a part of an active 28mm gaming group each week slowly influenced my appreciation of more realistic uniforms and better painting. That coincided with aging eyesight. Over the past couple of years my 6mm Napoleonics project has been plagued with repeated attempts to decide upon a figure ratio. Empire uses a 1:60 ratio which a 720 man battalion represented by 12 figures on the table. 6mm is commonly selected for price and/or mass benefits and so I continuously struggled with whether or not to double the width or double the depth or even both. Some experiments can be seen in posts on this sight with 48 figures in a battalion!

With the move to 15mm it meant I no longer had to decide on ratios because both space and budget had to be enforced resulting in the standard 1:60 ratios. At least for now! lol

So now let me update you the reader on where my projects stand at the end of 2016 and heading into 2017:

1. Napoleonics

As you may guess the move to 15mm for this project meant I now had 20,000 6mm Adler to sell and no 15mm figures. I was starting again!

A friend of mine gave me some left over ABs and Old Glory figures which I painted up. I was happy with the research into the uniforms and the finished paint job and so went on a purchasing spree.

To get some large formations tabletop ready in the least amount of time, and after researching painters to help me in my project, I settled on repeated buys off eBay and soon had around 1000 French, British and Prussian troops to begin with. And all for an average of $1.52 per figure. I also purchased some AB, Eureka and CGM figures with my preference being the ABs.

I also began work on my painting process and soon worked out my style and speed to give me what I wanted. Not being a painter myself I was happy with the outcome and consider it above average especially once I began comparing them to 2nd figures off eBay I was collecting along the way.

So at the end of 2016 I have around a half of the French 1st Corps for 1815, enough loose French supplemented by a small order to AB to complete the Corps. I also have enough British figures (now to be Hanoverian due to Stovepipe shakos), a collection of AB and CGM British to build the British 3rd Division from 1815. Another smaller pile of painted and unpainted Prussians will be used to build a Brigade or 2 from 1815.

More purchases will expand these formations throughout 2017 with most of them being painted by myself unless I can finally settle on a painter to assist for less than $3 per figure. Of course a regular eye on eBay for unwanted AB or CGM will help as well.

Period-wise I am still focused on 1815 but am keen to add Russians for 1812 and Austrians for 1809 but that should not happen in 2017.

2. Moderns

With my move to 15mm for Napoleonics I was considering the same for my Modern projects. I am still keen to explore Iraq and Afghanistan and Ultra Modern as well. A quick look at the ranges on offer for 15mm and the fact that most of the 20mm vehicles can be purchased as quick already assembled and painted plastic or diecast "toys" knocked the 15mm idea on the head. And of course the already large collection of 20mm I had assembled but never used to date!

2016 saw a purchase of a large collection being offloaded by a friend in Sydney which just about doubled my stash of painted and unpainted figures. I am in a good position to build most if not all of the forces I need to see this project take some traction in 2017.

I am still set on using Force on Force with a couple of additions but I will also test out the Skirmish Sangin rules I have.

3. Terrain

Terrain was good in 2016. Recent purchases of multiple Cigar Box Battle Mats and the reshuffle of those to settle on 2 x Grasslands mats meant I could finally move on to other aspects of my tabletop. For years I tried all sorts of ideas and this blog is riddled with posts on that subject.

During 2016 I also settled on hills. The mats work well with items underneath them to represent contours and hills but I could never decide on a material or system to use. I tried cork tiles, foam sections, books, rubber mats and even packaging foam. In the end a $1 packet of paper plates with a drawer protector over the top solved all my needs. Not only did I get random looking and non uniformed peaks and tops but the drawer protector adds some stability to the hollows and provides grip for the plates. It works really well.

With the table cover and the hills out of the way I moved on to the roads and rivers and a large collection of already produced and painted pieces from Fat Franks off eBay came to good use. A quick reflock to match the battle mat and they are good to go.

On to buildings. I've always been interested in modelling my own buildings as some of the purchased ones I had collected over the years and/or seen online seem to have a footprint too out of scale for a game running at 1:60 ratios. A random look on eBay and a purchase and a collection of custom made good quality buildings joined my project. They do need a little work to turn them into full scenic items with gardens and paths and trees and hedges etc. But they are a good base to work with.

Woods were a lot of trouble. So many ideas and so many ways to do it. I wanted sections of wooded areas that can be placed on the table in groups or as a single section but not just a terrain base with flock and some model trees. A Youtube search showed an idea with a scenic base built to accomodate a number of smaller modelled bases. I built a couple of prototypes of these and they looked good so I began work on some larger sections.

2017 will see more work done on woods and then on to scenic items such as fields and hedges and fences etc. Hoepfully there will be some full tables for gaming to show off as well.

4. Other Projects

After those 3 everything else is 2nd position. As mentioned a number or times only a few can be achieved in my lifetime and so the selection is limited to 2 or 3. Previously I had begun collections of 6mm ACW, 10mm Crusades and 10mm Romans but all these are now either sold off or soon to be sold off in favour of 15mm collections. At this point I am thinking 15mm Romans or Crusades and maybe 15mm AWI. Stay tuned but I doubt serious progress will be made this year other than maybe a few samples purchased and painted as a break from the other work.

So there we have it. A look at the state of things at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017.

One of my personal goals this year is yet again to keep this blog updated and so I aim to update things at the beginning of each month. I have also settled on my spare time with Sun, Mon and Tues being booked for Forex Trading and the rest of the week dedicated to Wargaming. Its now mid January and this scheme is working out well so far.

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